This building material weighs 20 tons and is 22 metres in length. Moving it around is a job for a specialist. Dieter Krause is a man who transports timber, a basic material with a host of uses in the construction sector. Dieter Krause owns a transport company totally dedicated to the logistics surrounding this natural material.
Krause has been in the timber business for almost 50 years. First as a feller, then as a merchant and also as a logger, i.e. someone who hauls felled trees through the forest. To begin with, he relied on a Unimog before then switching to two MB-Tracs. The timber professional also remained loyal to vehicles with a star on their radiator grille when, in the 1990s, he began to increasingly focus his business on the transport of timber of all lengths.
Much better ride comfort thanks to air suspension
Today, Dieter Krause transports his logs using two heavy-duty 33-ton trucks from the first Actros generation. A Mercedes-Benz Arocs was recently added to Krause’s fleet, which also includes two cut-timber truck combinations. When deciding on his new log train, the businessman, himself a driver, opted for a three-axle truck with 26-ton gross vehicle weight as the rigid vehicle. The 2658 is turned into a 40-ton log train by a Doll self-steering trailer.
“The air suspension gives me the kind of ride comfort that was simply impossible with earlier leaf-sprung vehicles”, enthuses Krause, referring to the air suspension on his Arocs 2658 L 6×4. Also important for Krause was the payload of the vehicle, which was designed more with suitably loaded normal duty in mind.
Mercedes PowerShift proves its worth in the forest and on the road
The 68-year-old businessman sees another great advantage in the ease of operation of his new log-transporting truck: “The Arocs comes as standard with the Mercedes PowerShift 3 automatic transmission – it took me next to no time to get used to driving and manoeuvring off-road without a clutch pedal. The main thing, however, is that I no longer need to bother about changing gear when I’m on the road”. That’s because recent years have seen more and more need for “changing gear”, including in the log transport business. “Quite simply because today we have to drive much longer distances from the forest to the sawmills”.
Consequently, Krause estimates that his new vehicle will cover over 300 kilometres every day it is in operation, up to 80 000 kilometres a year. Apart from the ever longer transport distances, Dieter Krause also attaches importance to his truck’s off-road capability. “The 6×4 drive configuration with inter-axle and inter-wheel differential locks enables me to get everywhere here in the south of Lower Saxony”, says the transport professional, who is at home in Lamspringe.
Ample tractive power from large-capacity turbocompound engine
For the work Dieter Krause does in his Arocs, the standard-fit drive technology offers everything a log trucker needs – after all, the Arocs family was designed from the outset for heavy-duty applications around the transport of building materials. The 15.6-litre 6-cylinder OM 473 turbocompound engine puts out 425 kW (578 hp) at 1600 rpm while producing 2800 Nm of torque from an engine speed as low as 1100 rpm. This is optimally matched by the 12-speed PowerShift transmission, which selects the most appropriate gear to suit the beefy character of the engine.
“I don’t miss my old eight-cylinder job at all”, says Dieter Krause, referring to the recent generation change among large-capacity Mercedes engines. “I’m much more taken by the comfortable cab”. He would have liked to go for the next-larger version, which, however, is slightly taller than the ClassicSpace cab. “That wouldn’t have fitted with the crane boom, which I need to fold down over the cab when the truck is fully loaded”, explains the timber driver, who is also his own timber crane operator.
Plans for new top-of-the-range model to mark anniversary
Even the existing option calls for some inventive work, which came courtesy of the Bickel conversion company, which cut a hole in the middle of the roof in which to park the crane boom. “That won’t be necessary with my next Arocs”, says Krause with reference to his investment plans. “That will be a cut-timber truck. It’s got a rear-mounted crane, which means that there’s no longer any restriction on the height of the cab”.
The proud timber-transporting businessman casually mentions with a grin that he intends to buy the Arocs with the top-of-the-range engine variant rated at 460 kW (625 hp). Sounds like a dream truck to celebrate the 70th birthday of the professional timber trucker. And like a fine showcase vehicle with which to mark the 50th anniversary of the Holz-Krause company.